THE DEMOCRATIC REPORTER
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Mississauga News - July 9, 2009 - By Torstar Network
Council quashes queriesIt’s easy to understand how Mississauga’s arguably best-known citizen advocate, Donald Barber, can get under the skin of city councillors and staff; he’s blunt, bold and often antagonistic.
Still, he’s a Canadian citizen and Mississauga resident who has a right to question publicly-elected representatives and publicly-paid staff.
Yet, because councillors have been unable to deal with Barber’s vexatious manner, they decided this week to quash a 30-year tradition of public question period during televised council meetings. Instead, residents will now air their concerns at the committee level, away from the watchful eyes of the community and television cameras.
City Council’s arrogance in dealing with the issue of citizen access to their elected officials is astounding. Mayor Hazel McCallion actually warned Barber to, “be careful...you misuse the freedom that we’ve granted and the leniency that we’ve granted.”
The freedoms they’ve granted? Freedom of speech is a right enshrined in Canada’s constitution, not a favour the mayor and councillors can bestow or withdraw.
Ironically, when Ward 6 Councillor Carolyn Parrish, who always demands to be heard, initiated the move about a year ago to reduce citizen access to council members, McCallion told her that politicians, “are paid well to sit there and to give citizens the opportunity to be heard.” What happened?
Mississauga residents, apparently, are now better seen than heard.
Barber got it right when he addressed public question period for the last time: “We are gathered here today to bury and mourn the passing of public question period. For more than 30 years, it has been trumpeted as one of Mississauga’s crown democratic jewels by the current mayor.”
Comments by others, 9, to this web-page;
The Mississauga Muse Aug 6, 2009 6:34 PM
Question for Watcher.
Watcher, you wrote, "So Muse I got Hazel to take back what she said. You still believe or are you just kidding." I'm not sure what you're referring to about taking back what she said. As for her comment, that you, me, DeValera are "going to see it’s dealing with their questions more professionally in more depth and with more facts and data to answer the question" sure, I believe that. Why? Because I --ME, THE MISSISSAUGA MUSE has the depth, data and stats and the minions of the evil empire are forced to keep up with me. Plus, mostly, no way anyone can convince me that McCallion condones the crap pile revealed in the MissCorpSec database. No way.
Uatu Aug 6, 2009 1:02 PM
No wonder some call it the Missing News...
The Muse can cover Council from Hawaii, but not a peep in the Mississauga News? Given the number of times the paper was mentioned, you'd think they'd have something to say, especially since it was said several times that the Mississauga News was misleading with its coverage.
* Agree 2
WatcherOIO Aug 6, 2009 1:46 AM
Who is jiving who.
So Muse I got Hazel to take back what she said. You still believe or are you just kidding.
The Mississauga Muse Aug 5, 2009 4:38 PM
MAYOR MCCALLION'S TAKE-HOME BOTTOMLINE MESSAGE ON PUBLIC QUESTION PERIOD MAYOR MCCALLION'S TAKE-HOME BOTTOMLINE MESSAGE ON PUBLIC QUESTION PERIOD
What Hazel McCallion says! I'm willing to believe her! TRANSCRIPT Mississauga Council Meeting August 5, 2009: “We’ve dealt with this as a Mayor all these years--I look at it as an improvement in the administration of the business of the City. It really is. I think today we need to look at efficiency and improvement of the administration of the business. This is one item that I think is going to do that. You know what? In my opinion citizens that are really sincere and dedicated, are going to benefit from this system in a major way. They’re going to see it’s dealing with their questions more professionally in more depth and with more facts and data to answer the question. And I believe we have to do that, and this is the way, in my opinion, it can be done much better than it has in the past.
* Agree 1
Think About It Jul 15, 2009 10:33 AM
Bear Head-Airbus Unfair distribution of Mississauga/Caledon property taxes
Parish’s big ticket item, from previous articles, are the unfair distribution of Mississauga property taxes going towards to reducing Bear Head CEO’s in up in Caledon per capita. Tax increases were sheared off through privatization in reference to regional outsourcing to down load when Harris appointed McCallion to self regulate AMO.
Think About It Jul 13, 2009 8:44 AM
Peel Region Mulroney Shrieber Bear Head cover up
I've been a victim of the Mulroney Schreiber Bear Head cover up since 1988. Any skills trade persons associated with he Peel Regional beaurocrats on Facebook are bound to get the cold shoulder and trumped up complaints to the web master for posting discloser evidence directly on their sights
DeValera Jul 10, 2009 9:01 PM
Uatu - bring your video camera!
You are correct, taking Public Question Period (PQP) to less visible Committee Meetings will be interesting. For future "transparency" examples - look to see how the removal of PQP was listed in the June 30 General Committee Agenda...then look at the Council Agenda for July 8 and tell me if you can find it. Uatu, drop me a line firstname.lastname@example.org
* Agree 2
Uatu Jul 10, 2009 4:21 PM
It's not just Don's fault...
Seems to me that the Mississauga Muse had something to do with this too ;) I wager that Council is not going to like what happens next. Don and the Muse (and maybe other ticked off citizens like me) will start videotaping these non-Rogers-televised sessions and put them on Youtube... where they'll be available 245/7/365.
* Agree 3
MISSISSAUGAWATCH Jul 10, 2009 4:15 PM
I LOVE YOU SO *MUCH* MISSY NEWS!
By the way I still can't post to the new Blog site and boy do I have a lot of new Blogs languishing at mississaugawatch.ca waiting to be mirrored here. Love (wait, I said that already) Aloha, The Mississauga Muse MISSISSAUGAWATCH. For why Donald Barber is so important, please see the YouTube video, " MISSISSAUGA CITY SECURITY. He said. THEY SAID" at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPIP9-ynooY
* Agree 2
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